If you thought this Philadelphia Eagles coaching search was getting crazy when those Jon Gruden rumors popped up (and were later shut down), well, now there's this. According to long-time New York sportscaster Russ Salzberg, the Eagles want to talk to Tom Coughlin.
Eagles want to talk to Coughlin. Never say never !— RUSS SALZBERG (@russsalzberg) January 9, 2016
It's hard to tell for sure how legit that Twitter account is, but after doing some basic vetting I don't think it's fake. Plus, there's this, from Fox 5 anchor Steve Lacy:
Eagles have asked #Giants for permission to talk to Tom Coughlin. Coughlin's interest unclear. - EXCLUSIVE via @russsalzberg— Steve Lacy (@StevenLacy) January 9, 2016
Man. I really don't know what to make of this.
Let's start with the part where the Eagles are supposedly asking for permission to talk to Coughlin. Since Coughlin essentially resigned and didn't get fired, by NFL rule he's not allowed to talk with other teams. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk addressed this recently:
A separate question arises regarding Coughlin’s future plans. He hasn’t ruled out staying in coaching, and any team with a vacancy would be crazy not to pursue him. Under the league’s anti-tampering policy, however, a coach who resigns or retires before the completion of his contract "is not free to discuss or accept employment with another NFL club without consent of the prior-employer club." Consent can be given in exchange for compensation.
The 69-year-old Coughlin hasn't announced any retirement plans, but it's obviously fair to wonder how many years he really has left in the NFL. If he still wants to coach, maybe the Eagles are actually interested?
I can't really see it. Coughlin obviously has a lot of success (see: two Super Bowl rings), but the Giants have been mediocre/bad in recent years. It doesn't seem like the direction the Eagles would want to go. Maybe it would be the case if the Birds were in a win-now position, but that's not the situation in Philadelphia.
Perhaps the Eagles just want to pick Coughlin's brain. Or maybe hire him in some kind of advisory role? Just speculating here.
In any case, this is a pretty weird rumor, and I'm really not sure how legitimate it is, so take it all with a grain of salt. It might be shot down any moment now, just like a lot of these coaching rumors have.
In more official news, the Eagles interviewed Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo on Thursday. McAdoo is seemingly in the running to replace Coughlin in New York. Maybe the Eagles want to get Coughlin's thoughts on McAdoo?
UPDATE: This doesn't appear to be just a baseless rumor. Check out what NFL insider Mike Garafolo is reporting:
Sources in the Giants organization told FOX Sports they expect Coughlin to speak to the Eagles in the coming days about their coaching vacancy. The sources said the Eagles are interested in Coughlin's services, which jibes with a report from FOX 5 in New York on Friday night that stated the Eagles requested permission from the Giants to speak with Coughlin.